How to Fix Ceiling Fan Lights

Ceiling fan lights are a great addition to any room, providing both light and a comfortable breeze. However, sometimes they can stop working, leaving you in the dark. If you’re having trouble with your ceiling fan lights, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem and get them working again. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to fix ceiling fan lights that don’t work.

Please note: Anywhere in the article where it says to turn off the power to the fan or the light, you should turn off the power at the breaker. Do not try to operate on a fan or any wiring when the power has not been turned off at the circuit breaker or fuse box. These are generally located in the basement of the home.

Check the Light Bulbs

The first thing to check is the light bulbs themselves. Sometimes they can simply burn out or become loose. Turn off the power to the fan and remove the light bulb cover. Gently twist the bulbs to check if they are loose. If they are, tighten them until they are snug. If the bulbs are burnt out, replace them with new ones.

Check the wiring on the ceiling fan

If the bulbs are fine, the next thing to check is the wiring. Turn off the power to the fan and remove the light bulb cover. Check the wiring connections to make sure they are secure. If they are loose, use pliers to tighten them. If you see any frayed or damaged wires, they will need to be replaced.

Hampton Bay Universal Ceiling Fan Light Kit
This ornate Hampton Bay universal LED ceiling fan light kit works great with most old “no name” ceiling fans.

Check the Pull Chain

Sometimes the problem is simply with the pull chain. Turn off the power to the fan and remove the light bulb cover. Check the pull chain switch to see if it is properly connected. If it is, try pulling the chain to see if it turns on the lights. If it doesn’t, the switch may be faulty and need to be replaced.

Check the Capacitor on the ceiling fan

The capacitor is a small device that helps to control the speed of the fan and the lights. If it is faulty, it can cause the lights to stop working. Turn off the power to the fan and remove the light bulb cover. Locate the capacitor and check for any signs of damage or burning. If it looks damaged, it will need to be replaced.

My Hunter Ceiling Fan is not working

Has your Hunter ceiling fan stopped working, and you have no idea why? Starting from scratch and attempting to figure out why your fan will not turn on can be a difficult and challenging experience. Where do you start, in terms of the troubleshooting process? This step by step article provides a general troubleshooting guide for Hunter ceiling fans.

Is there power being delivered to the ceiling fan?

The first thing to check, is there power going to the fan? While this may seem trivial, we need to rule this out initially as a concern. Is there a breaker tripped in the electrical panel? One way to tell if there is power to the fan, is if there are lights on the fan and they are working. If the fan has no lights then you can skip this step as you won’t be able to check this. However, if the fan does have lights and they don’t turn on, and the fan does not turn on either, there may be no power going to the fan. Try flipping the breaker that controls the fan’s circuit on and off.

Note: Make sure you always turn the power off to the fan from the breaker before working on any live wires!

If still there’s no power to the fan after this, try checking if there are any wires that came loose in the box that holds the fan to the ceiling. This mounting box typically will have a live wire and a ground wire. Live wires are usually red or orange and black wires are generally ground. If you don’t know which wires are live or not, you can purchase a toning tool which will tell you when you are working with a live wire. This is especially useful when you aren’t sure if you have turned off the right circuit breaker or not. This happens sometimes – maybe you’ve purchased a new home recently, and it didn’t have the breaker panels labelled. You may have to start adding labels yourself, or have an electrician come over and test all the switches to make sure they work properly. Again, you can tell if there is a live circuit (or “hot” wire) by using a toner probe.

Inside of the ceiling fan housing, you may find wiring that looks like this. Mind you, this is a bit of a rat’s nest – so hopefully yours is not this bad. Red wires are generally positive or “hot,” with black wires being ground.

If you’re still stumped, you could have a direction switch problem. In the fan housing, you should find a direction switch. It controls the fan going between forwards and backwards. Try changing the switch back and forth a couple of times, to see if that enables the fan to start moving.

Troubleshooting Ceiling Fan Remotes & Dip Switch Issues

If you’re using a ceiling fan remote to operate the fan, make sure the dip switches are set correctly. Dip switches are what sets the frequency between the fan remote and the fan itself. You need to make sure the dip switches are set correctly. Is it possible they were recently tampered with? Maybe the kids were playing with the remote – these things do happen!

If the remote is not working – have you also tried the pullchain that starts the motor? It’s unlikely both the remote and the dip switches have both stopped working at the same time. Pullchains can stop working sometimes too, if someone has completely ripped on the chain and broken it inside. But once again, it’s highly unlikely that the pull chain has been broken and the remote has stopped working, unless you’ve got some very naughty children!